Bay of Plenty
The Bay of Plenty wine region is full of surprises. Not so many cellar doors however worth tracking down. After a quick flight from Auckland you can relax with a hot pool soak and get ready for some activity the following day. Why not plan a trip to the beach or for the more active there’s mountain biking – never too far from a cellar door offering Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc. There’s also Dolphin Seafaris; an adventure park, a trip on the Bay explorer, the art gallery, romantic getaways and as they say ‘plenty’ to do.
The region enjoys a moderately warm climate and fertile soils by New Zealand standards, while still having a coastal influence.
Maori first discovered this area in the 13th Century and named it “Tauranga” meaning ‘the place of rest or anchorage’. It has grown rapidly in recent years and now offers cosmopolitan city living combined with a laid-back atmosphere.
The city airport is located just over the Tauranga Harbour Bridge where you can catch direct flights to and from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. If you choose to drive, we’re an easy 2.5 hour road trip south from Auckland, or a slightly longer car journey northwest from Hawkes Bay.
Here you will find yourself surrounded by, and drawn to, Tauranga’s harbour which is sheltered from the open ocean by Matakana Island and Mount Maunganui.
The city’s main hospitality area is right on the waterfront. Choose from a wide range of bars and restaurants along The Strand where fine dining and international cuisine is served alongside bar snacks and tapas platters. This is where locals come to share after-work drinks, celebrate big events and socialise with friends.
Across the road on the water’s edge, your children will have a ball on the local playground. Let their imaginations run wild as they clamber over the Hairy Maclary bronze sculptures – a story-book scene featuring the beloved characters from Tauranga author Dame Lynley Dodd’s famous children’s books.
Tauranga’s growing arts scene is evident right across the city. You are sure to notice renowned local street artist Owen Dippie’s major works which span several stories high on the side of many buildings. Pay a visit to Tauranga’s Art Gallery to view national and international exhibitions and be charmed by Greerton’s yarn bombing craze, where giant balls of wool and knitting encase the trunks of cherry trees which line the suburban village streets.
Wine production is focused mainly on Chardonnay with Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc occupying third place.